Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in Belgium

Belgium isn’t too big of a country for most travellers, but opting to take a care gives you the opportunity to make the most of its modernized and toll free road networks, allowing you to get to their popular tourist spots with ease.

When driving through the network, take note of the letters used to classify the roads. A-roads lead to international destinations as well as major cities. These are the roads that usually connect to Brussels. B-roads are those which connect between smaller cities, and are usually short. R-roads are those that circle around the bigger cities while N-roads are the counterpart for smaller cities.

As long as you’re 18 years old and licensed, you can drive a car in Belgium. If your license is from EU, then you can use that until expiration. You can avoid complications, however, by simply trading it in for a Belgian license. For other licenses, an international driver’s license may be required and is good for up to six months.

If you are from the UK, you can choose to import your vehicle into the country (for a period of 12 months) instead of renting a car there. Should you choose to import your car, make sure that it doesn’t have radar equipment in the navigation system, as equipment used to actively search for speed detectors or police equipment are prohibited.

In either case, you will need to keep with you at all times some important documents, which include a valid driver’s license, an international driving permit, insurance documents, your passport, and a certification of ownership of your car (in case you plan on bringing your car with you). You will also be required to be fully equipped with reflective jackets, warning triangles (for 4WDs), headlamp beam deflectors, and some preventive clothing for motorcycle drivers. If you rent a car that’s registered locally, make sure it’s got the mandatory first aid kit and the fire extinguisher. The city streets are prone to a lot of motor accidents, so it’s best to stay defensive. This is because studies have found that more than 40% of local motorists tend to go beyond the standard speeds limits.

Belgium uses standard speed limits, which vary only between sign posts: 120 km/h for motorways and 90 km/h in other roads, assuming normal traffic conditions. There’s also a minimum speed limit of 70 km/h in motorways, except in cases of traffic congestion. The limits will also vary in rural as well as residential areas. But the rule, however, is to always follow what’s indicated on the signpost.

As for safety regulations, seat belts are compulsory for the front and driver seats, and are required for passengers in the back seat as well, if fitted. Child restraint systems are also required for passengers under three years old. Unless there is a child restraint system available, only kids of at least 12 years old can sit in front.

Overall it’s not very complicated to get used to driving in Belgium. Despite having over 1. 8 million British visitors every year, there’s hardly any trouble.

Summary

Belgium has toll free road networks.
You need to be 18 years or more and have a driving licensed to drive in Belgium.
An international driver’s license may be required if yours was issued outside of the EU.
Equipment used to actively search for speed detectors or police equipment are prohibited by law.
A valid driver’s license/international driving permit, insurance documents, your passport, and a certification of ownership/rental agreement is required at all times whilst driving.
Reflective jackets, warning triangles (for 4WDs), a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher and headlamp beam deflectors are required in your vehicle.
Speed limits are 120 km/h (a minimum of 70 km/h) for motorways and 90 km/h on other main roads. 50km/h in cities.
Seat belts are compulsory for the front and driver seats, and are required for passengers in the back seat as well, if fitted.

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